The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans Matt Haig

I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist.

– Opening sentence

Narrated by an unnamed alien author, The Humans is a story about an alien race intervening and prohibiting human advancement. It’s also so much more than that.

The Humans starts with Andrew Martin, an alien from another planet who is sent to Earth with a mission. Andrew Martin is not the alien’s name, but the name of the human he is impersonating. However, for the purpose of this review I will refer to him as ‘Andrew’.

Where ‘Andrew’ comes from there are no names; there is no identity; no individual. There is also no pain and no death. ‘Andrew’s race live in symbiosis with technology and mathematics, leaving a world based on logic, with no wars and no emotions.

You can image how terrified and confused he is by Earth.

Reading the reviews on the cover, I had no idea what I was getting myself into; “wonderfully funny…hilarious…a laugh-and-cry book” – I thought it was going to be a witty satirical book about ‘the meaning of life’ and all that. I didn’t know that it was going to be the intimate, emotional and motivational read that it is, and, possibly, one of the most important books for me to read at a time in my personal life which required intimacy, emotion and motivation.

Needless to say, this book really resonated with me.

The Humans really does have it all. It’s funny, clever and extremely well written. But there’s more than that. There’s real emotion, and Haig manages, quite magically, to extract a cocktail of emotions upon the reader, that extract a parallel not only with the characters within the story, but with our very own lives, and our very own being.

I’m not as gifted with words as others, but what I’m trying to say is that The Humans is a magical book, and one that any book-lover will appreciate.

Haig, I think, captures the essence of human life perfectly. Although a work of fiction, The Humans, I think, is actually a fairly accurate description of who we are – and that makes this book so much more special.

I feel inspired, and I feel disdained. I feel happy, and I feel sad. This book made me think, which is one of the reasons why I love to read, and break from the monotonous everyday life that I had just started to drift through subconsciously without pausing for thought and appreciation.

Right now, I have nothing to fault with this book, leading me to award my first 5/5.

Actually, I’m so in love with this book that I decided to look at some of the less enthusiastic reviews on Amazon, to see why others may not have gotten the same message that I took from it.

One reviewer claimed that it had “no depth at all”, which I simply can’t agree with. Their reason for this claim is that the characters were “shallow and uninteresting”, which, again, I just simply can’t agree with. Okay, so we weren’t given their complete backstory, and there wasn’t a tremendous amount of detail into the complexity of some of the characters – but I think that’s part of the point;

Past and future were myths. The past was just the present that had died and the future would never exist anyway, because by the time we got to it the future would have turned into the present. The present was all there was.

Matt Haig, The Humans

We don’t need to know everything that has happened prior to ‘Andrew’s appearance, and we don’t need to understand all the reasons why and how it’s happened, or what the consequences are afterwards. We, are the reader, are mimicking the role of ‘Andrew’ – we are in the present and er are trying to come to terms with it.

It’s that poetry and symbolism which makes The Humans magical (yes, I’m going to keep using that word), and whether that’s down to clever writing, or an author who is so invested in his own beliefs that it’s a subconscious coincidence, is another thing.

Thank you, humans.

– Final sentence

5 Stars (5 / 5)


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